How to use titles in Austria properly

For Expatriates, Executives and International Team Leaders


Everyone can learn to use Austrian titles in business life! This is especially important for expatriates and executives who want to avoid bad luck and have effective business relationships. In the course of this article, you will get to know a variety of Austrian titles and get tips for the correct application. In the end, you can request a practical checklist.


During my five years in Graz, every Saturday I witnessed a very special spectacle: the shop was full to the brim. The baker is busy. Bread was packed. The customers waited patiently in a line that reached to the door. An elegantly dressed lady enters the shop. The baker's wife shouts very loudly: "Greetings, Ms Medical Council!" The lady: "Yes, hello." Everyone turns around. My friend whispers: "This is the woman from the Medical Council." The woman Medical Council had a great appearance. The baker's wife too. That was in 1997.
Today it is no longer really the case in Austria to address the spouses with the corresponding titles. Anyway, that's what the top, Austrian Benimm expert says (no, that's not an official title) Thomas Schäfer-Elmayer.

On a beautiful summer's day, I went to town with my uncle, who is a high school teacher. A few students came to meet us. "Good morning, Professor," they called to us. I was surprised: "I thought you were a teacher, uncle?" He laughed and said: "In Austria (AHS) teachers have to be addressed with Mr. or Mrs. Professor." Incidentally, this is legally anchored in the teachers' service law.

WHY TITLES IN AUSTRIA ARE IMPORTANT BEFORE - STATISTICS interviewed five hundred Austrians in 2016. The topics were: Does professional success need titles? And: what is the reputation of title holders today? The result:

  • 56.2 % consider titles in professional life important
  • 61.8 % find title holders professionally successful
  • 64 % hold title holders for power hungry
  • 70 % use titles in business
  • 58.6 % use titles when completing forms
  • 53 % say the title has already given them an advantage once

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